I decided to practice at the other Ojai yoga studio, Sacred Space, today, because it's right next to the humane society, where I get my animal fix on Saturdays. This was the first time I've practiced at Sacred Space!
My favorite part was definitely the two dogs she had roaming around, a black cocker spaniel named Baby and a 20-year old beagle. Ingrid said they would "come around and check on your downward facing dog." The other unusual presence in the class was a little girl of maybe 9 or 10 years. Those three more innocent creatures helped me take the class a little lighter than I would when surrounded by a bunch of serious adult students. I got a surprise puppy kiss during bridge.
Ingrid is a graceful, calm, lovely birdlike person. She had us use the wall to push against during several poses (triangle, warrior II, bridge, handstand, and even savasana). One pose I LOVED was putting a block under my upper back, laying down on top of it and pressing my arms into the wall behind me. That gave me some feeling in a lot of new places. She has that miraculous yoga teacher ability to see when a pose feels good or bad because she commented that I had it right, which I knew by the way it felt.
That's the place, right behind my heart, that I don't feel I have full access to, physically or energetically/emotionally. If I'm able to practice yoga in such a way that I can physically loosen my upper back and relax my shoulders etc, like really change my anatomy a bit, will emotional awareness follow?
She ended with a quote I liked, "Happiness is not the path, it is the way."